And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
The title really says it all, in this case: says Alison Flood in The Guardian on August 5th, “A father who tried self-publishing the bedtime story he made up for his daughters has landed a surprise order of 2,000 copies from Virgin Atlantic to help children sleep on night flights.” The book in question, Stephen Holmes’ The Great Hot Air Balloon Adventure (illustrated by Kev Payne), was inspired by a bedtime story Holmes had been telling his daughters for years–and he never had the intent to publish or sell until Madison, age seven, requested it. The story of how his book connected with Virgin Atlantic is an interesting one: having ordered an intial print run of 1000 copies and having sold roughly half that number, Holmes decided to send a copy to an airline executive via LinkedIn as a spur-of-the-moment inspiration–and the airline enjoyed it so much they decided to order an additional print run of 2000 in order to distribute copies on their night flights. The book, according to Flood, “tells of best friends Tom and Jessica–the names chosen by his daughters – who are taken on a night balloon ride by a ‘very well spoken’ rabbit. They drink hot chocolate and bounce on clouds, before meeting a friendly owl and flying home to bed.” The icing on the cake? Flood gives a brief run-down at the end of her article on the progress self-publishing has made in recent years.
“It’s the best choice for self publishers to publish their magazines easily and quickly without any delay,” writes Veronica Linn in this August 5th piece for WhaTech. FlipHTML5, once voted the “best magazine newsstand app maker by users around the world,” gives publishers “the chance to create realistic CSS3, jQuery and HTML E-magazines from PDF versions instantly which they are distribute through online or offline outlets.” This is good news for self-publishing authors, who often need to capitalize upon timeliness in order to turn a profit. Says Linn, “All one has to do is to upload the input material, insert personal logo and multimedia content and change themes and backgrounds to achieve the look they want.” It’s worth noting that Linn, who as an employee of FlipHTML5, is not exactly unbiased in the service of self-publishing–but in many ways her piece hits all of the right notes. To read the full release, click here!
“More than half of all science fiction magazines failed to publish fiction from black authors in 2015,” writes Andrew Liptak for The Verge on August 4th: “Speculative fiction magazine Fireside Fiction has commissioned and released a report detailing an unwelcome revelation: speculative fiction magazines and online fiction sites are failing to publish stories by black writers.” Liptak reports on the report, calling it “damning” and that “of the 2,039 short stories published last year across 63 magazines, only 38 were published by black authors.” These stats are fairly self-evident, indeed, but what do they have to do with self-publishing? It all has to do with the part short stories have to play in boosting the science fiction genre. Says Liptak, “Short fiction also allows authors to experiment with form, style, and narratives which can have great impact on the field as a whole. Barriers for specific groups of people hurts the field as a whole by blocking new voices and styles from reaching a wider audience.” Liptak excerpts an interview with author N.K. Jemisin (author of The Fifth Season and Obelisk Gate), who “noted that some authors that might have otherwise published through traditional markets have found other outlets for their work.” Says Jemisin (through Liptak), “There’s a gigantic market of self-published and small press published black fiction that kind of eschews the whole traditional published market simply because back in the nineties when all of this really kind of kicked off … the traditional publishing industry basically treated black writers as if they were anomalies.” So in other words, self-publishing is promoting diversity in a highly structured and often exclusionary genre. That’s good work, self-publishers! To read the full Verge article, follow the link.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com